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Mau Eviction Diaries: Bitterness of a Father

By half past three, Richard Kirinyet, a resident of Sierra Leone was demolishing the second wall of his house. Bitterness was written all over his face. Tears began to well his eyes when he recalled how he was evicted during the first phase before the police took over his piece of land.

“I bought this land in 2001 and I have a title deed as proof,” he explained while chewing on a few grains of roasted maize left on a cob.

Richard Kirinyet bringing down the walls of his house using a hammer

While hitting the mud walls of his house with the only strength left of him, his son stares at him from a distance. When we shifted our attention to the kid, Kirinyet elaborated that he has sought the help of a friend to give his kids a roof over their heads for the night.

“I honestly have nowhere to go,” Kirinyet says while avoiding contact with my eyes.

Kirinyet was among the thousands who were evicted in 2005, during the phase one of Mau eviction. When this unfortunate action by the government took place, Kirinyet had to abandon his house. An administration police post was then built on the land that was Kirinyet’s home since 2001.

When the government told the then former residents of Mau to go back and occupy their original (home) lands, Kirinyet was overjoyed. His joy, however, was short-lived. It has been cut short by yet another eviction.

Kirinyet shares his frustrations with us, pointing out that he is not bringing the house down because he has anything important to do with its remains.

“I am begrudged by what they are doing to me. I will carry everything with me because I can’t imagine they will come here and use my house.” he adds in response to the news that the AP post is awaiting re-establishment. Richard Kirinyet and thousands of others will be on the road with nothing as much about where they should go.

Ochieng' Obunga, a Writer at large, is the founding Chief Editor of Mobile Journalism Africa.

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